News and Opinion From a Team of Young People

Monthly archive

July 2016

Banning Foreign Funding for Mosques: A Purely Political Move

in Europe by

This week the French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, has made a statement that supports the idea of banning foreign funding to all mosques. This idea has been raised in an attempt to improve the security of France, a country that has been the target of multiple high-profile terror attacks which have been claimed by the so-called Islamic State. This Islamic extremist terrorist group recruits some individuals for its cause through local mosques where preachers prey on and eventually radicalize people living in the West. It is thought that by cutting off the money from extremist groups, the incentive for a mosque to turn a blind eye to extremism, or even to actively encourage it, will be diminished and so will the number of radicalized individuals.…

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Mobile Justice App: A futile solution to America’s policing problem?

in US and Canada by

The three remaining Baltimore police officers were excused of all charges over Freddie Gray’s death on the 27th of July. Gray was a young black man who was killed in April 2015 after being subjected to beatings whilst in police custody. Gray’s death marked a turning point in Police-black community relations, sparking two week long protests in Baltimore followed by two days of rioting which highlighted police brutality issues. The media turned public attention to police brutality cases and all of a sudden such cases appeared to become very common occurrences, most recently Alton Sterling, a 37 year old Black male who was shot as a result of selling CDs and Philando Castile shot one day later when reaching for his drivers’ license at a routine…

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A European’s Last Stand: Tim Farron on Liberty, Labour and Leaving

in UK by

Tim Farron has been the leader of the Liberal Democrats since July 2015 and his party has just seen a surge in membership following the EU referendum. What is the future of the Liberal Democrats and what part will they play in the fallout of the recent political turmoil? The Parliamentary Labour Party, after voting overwhelmingly in a vote of no confidence, have forced a second leadership election for Jeremy Corbyn. This has left the Labour leader commanding little respect from his MPs and in no fit state to be leader of the opposition. Despite some on the backbenchers accepting electoral defeat in 2020 and hoping that the likes of Lisa Nandy, Kier Starmer and Dan Jarvis become credible leadership candidates for 2025, there is…

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A Socialists’ Perspective: Why We Should Oppose the EU

in EU Referendum by

As a Socialist I fundamentally oppose the European Union and everything that it stands for, so naturally when news came through that Britons had decided to kick the European establishment in the teeth -and the working classes had shown what they think of crippling austerity measures- I was indeed very optimistic. Especially since Donald Tusk, president of the European Council issued a statement that BrExit represented “the beginning of the destruction of not only the EU but also of western political civilisation”. The liberal Guardian and all other like-minded newspapers are throwing a hissy fit including many of the so-called ‘leftists’. I argue that those upset with the result, -well, those who believed that the EU took an active role in promoting the welfare of…

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Life Without an MP: The Failure of UK Democracy

in History/UK by

In this article I will allude to the posts of Speaker of the House of Commons, but also those of the three Deputy Speakers who are subject to the same constraints. Unless stated otherwise, any argument made in this article for the Speaker also applies to the Deputy Speakers. Also note that ‘they’ can be a gender-neutral singular pronoun. The problem One of the current absurdities of the unwritten, ‘uncodified’ UK constitution is that the Speaker, who is strictly nonpartisan and presides over debates in the House of Commons, is an ordinary MP. The Speaker, currently John Bercow, is not allowed to participate or vote in debates and thus represent their constituents in Parliament. The Speaker is allowed to cast a vote in order to…

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The Bad Penny Debates: Are Religious Freedoms and a Liberal Society Contradictory in Modern Europe?

in Europe by

  Emily Religious freedom, to me, is the right to act as you please in regards to following your own personal religious beliefs. Many liberals would argue that it is necessary to have religious freedom to function in a liberal society. However, within certain religions, not only does it dictate how the religious follower should act, but how the religious follower should respond to someone else breaking that religions laws, such as adultery or homosexuality. The resulting question raised is: to what extent may someone act out their religion and have the right to religious freedom, even if it removes the freedom of another citizen? Throughout history, the state and church have acted as one. This usually means that there is one main religion within…

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Why Trump May Be Right About Immigration

in Election 2016/UK/US and Canada by

Immigration- even the term, itself can be considered controversial. Raising the topic runs the risk of sounding racist or small-minded. The entire discussion has become warped, due to the fear of not being ‘politically correct’, both with ordinary citizens, and politicians. This had led to key issues surrounding a very important topic being glossed over or dismissed entirely. Purely to avoid any hint of not following the normative belief, which is that everyone is welcome no matter what. This has to stop. By avoiding the entirely issue, it leads to the general public becoming more and more frustrated, until the entire issue is blown out of proportion. Immigration, in the correct numbers has unlimited benefits to society. Job vacancies and skills gaps can be filled,…

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The Nice Attacks: A Disproof of J.S Mill’s “On Liberty”?

in Europe/History by

Two days ago, a man in Nice drove a truck through a crowd killing 84 victims and injuring countless more. His actions have had wider repercussions than the ending these innocent lives, they have bought immeasurable pain to families and friends and hit of the French public with another collective loss. He has catalysed the unraveling of French liberality. Already there have been calls for all people under suspicion, but yet to commit acts that warrant arrest to be tracked more closely, even to be taken into custody. Muslims as a whole have been blamed, by some, for having a religion that perpetuates unhealthy radicalism, or that is not compatible with the West at all. Litigation and the government are the only elements that the…

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Should We Be Worried About the Situation in the South China Sea?

in Asia/World by

A common theme when discussing China (and a theme that I have mentioned in numerous articles) is that of events currently unfolding in the South China Sea. For those of you who don’t watch the news, the situation is as follows: The South China Sea is an area (plot twist) just south of China. The sea is considered by most of the world as international waters, however China claims almost all of it. This has upset the other nations that border the sea –e.g. the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan- and has prompted the USA to test China by constantly sailing vessels through these waters to demonstrate exactly how ‘international’ they are. This has obviously annoyed China, who have taken their claims further by building airports and…

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The Bad Penny Debates: Positive Discrimination

in UK by

On Thursday evening a photo appeared online appearing the show what would have been Andrea Leadsom’s policies with which she would have run for Conservative leader. One of these policies was: ‘Make positive discrimination explicitly illegal’, and it caused some disagreement amongst the Bad Penny Team. Andrea Leadsom has now dropped out and though the validity of the document can be questioned this remains an important debate. For this reason I collated responses from a few (more vocal) members of our team to allow our readers to see the arguments on both sides of the debate. Adam If we want gender equality and we want it soon then we need to have some element of positive discrimination to make up for the difficulties that women…

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